by Anne Sexton1928-1974
Perhaps I was born kneeling, born coughing on the long winter, born expecting the kiss of mercy, born with a passion for quickness and yet, as things progressed, I learned early about the stockade or taken out, the fume of the enema. By two or three I learned not to kneel, not to expect, to plant my fires underground where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, could be whispered to or laid down to die. Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was -- a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, I find the effort useless, do I not look in the mirror, these days, and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? Do I not feel the hunger so acutely that I would rather die than look into its face? I kneel once more, in case mercy should come in the nick of time.